Communication - Presse

Mozambique: Plan revived to build second Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant

Mozambique’s Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), one of the largest independent energy producers in southern Africa, has said that it is considering the “reactivation” of a project to build a new power plant, to the north of the original hydroelectric dam, in view of growing demand for electricity in the region.

“In the long term, the company is conducting strategic reflections with a view to reactivating the Cahora Bassa North project, to meet the growing energy demand in Mozambique and the region, in the face of the crisis that has been witnessed,” reads a statement from the company, consulted on Wednesday by Lusa.

According to the socio-environmental impact study for the Cahora Bassa North Power Station (CBN) project, which was presented in 2012 but since abandoned by the company, it would have a maximum installed capacity of 1,250 megawatts (MW) and would be built on the left bank of the existing Cahora Bassa reservoir, on the opposite side of the existing power station, the Cahora Bassa South Power Station, whose maximum production capacity is 2,075 MW.

The Cahora Bassa reservoir is the fourth largest in Africa, with a maximum length of 270 kilometres and 30 kilometres between banks, occupying around 2,700 square kilometres and an average depth of 26 metres.

The dam is located in a narrow gorge of the Zambezi River and was built under Portuguese rule in the country, from 1969 to 1 June 1974, when the reservoir began to fill.

HCB adds in the same report that “it is in the final stages of preparation for the implementation of projects to rehabilitate and modernise its power generation facilities”, which “will have a multiplier impact on its production performance.

“At the same time, it has put in the pipeline the prospect of carrying out short and medium-term energy production projects using alternative sources, in particular the construction of a photovoltaic plant of up to 400 MW, with the possibility of developing it in the future,” the statement adds.

In the first half of 2023, Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa achieved hydroelectric production of 8,013.6 GWh, “which exceeds the six-month production plan by 14.8 percent and 0.6 percent compared to the same period in 2022,” it states

The hydroelectric plant ended the first half of this year containing 92.5% of its useful reservoir volume, which corresponds to a water level in the reservoir of 324.5 metres relative to average sea level; the company states that it sees this as “satisfactory to guarantee the budgeted production by the end of the year, estimated at 14,291.6 GWh.”



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